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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old December 10th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 4
Durable camera for documentary

I'm an independent (one-film) filmmaker preparing for my second documentary, which I hope to be able to start shooting next summer. It will be a two-men-one-camera production.

Since I'll be coming to the US around Christmas I'm considering buying a new camcorder already now since 1/It would allow me to get used to operating the camera, and 2/it's about 30 % cheaper in the US (yes, I will buy a PAL version).

However I'm not sure which camera to buy and would appreciate advice from this experienced forum. The question is how to balance needs of flexibility, quality and budget.

My initial thoughts are the following:
- Shooting will mostly take place in the Middle East (hot and dusty);
- It will include reportage style shooting following people and events as they unfold (moving quickly if needed);
- Accordingly, ease of use, durability and weight are issues. Also I want to avoid the TV-crew look.
- There will also be set interviews;
- Total equipment should be kept to a minimum (could I go without a light kit. Would the camera be sensitive enough?);
- If possible, I would like to do the first editing on my G4 Power book (1.67 HZ, 1 GB ram);
- I'll use Final Cut Pro.
- The end product should be broadcast quality and 16:9 format.

My previous camera experience is mostly with Sony PDX10 and PD150. I like the size. However, I never stopped worrying about the XLR-box connection, I disliked the small push-focus and aperture bottoms, and I found manual focus pulling difficult.

My current favorite is the Panasonic HVX200. However, it's expensive and somewhat massive to handle. Also I don't know if my Power book could handle editing in HDV? Alternatively I'm considering the DVX100 at half the price.

Advice on all or parts of above will be appreciated!
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Old December 10th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Thing I like about the Sonys is their apparent ruggedness.

Sony has the V1E out that is about the size of PD, with a better screen, which shoots in HDV, and DV SD, all 16:9. You can shoot in HDV, down convert out of camera to DV, and still have HDV preserved. Its batteries are compatible with your current batteries...

Runs around $4,000.00. Sony also has a disk recorder which is designed for the camera, and will allow you to capture tapeless, or capture tape and tapeless at the same time.... Image is said to be fantastic...

If I was you, that is the way I would go...
Chris J. Barcellos
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